Roman Abramovich's promised revamp of the Chelsea first team got off to a promising start, with news the Blues had won the race for Belgian playmaker Eden Hazard to add to the below-the-radar capture of Werder Bremen's German midfielder Marko Marin. Brazilian midfielder Oscar followed Hazard and Marin to Stamford Bridge and Ron Gourlay, the club's chief executive, then confirmed more players would be inbound.
Several players have been linked with the reigning European champions through the summer, including Arsenal wide man Theo Walcott, Napoli's Uruguayan striker Edinson Cavani and Marseille's Spanish right back Cesar Azpilicueta, to name just a few. However, the one name that has been consistently spoken of in connection with Roberto Di Matteo's outfit is Brazilian striker Hulk.
The 26 year old FC Porto player has been on the transfer targets list of several clubs this summer, after an impressive last two seasons with the Portuguese outfit in which he scored a total 57 goals in 91 appearances. The Blues have been joined by the likes of Manchester United, Manchester City, Tottenham and Arsenal in their pursuit of the powerful forward and at several points in the chase were declared as favourites to sign him.
"We are open to talks with Chelsea at any time, any place. There is interest, but at the moment there is still nothing concrete. He likes the English Premier League a lot and Chelsea are a good club for Hulk," an earlier IBTimes UK report quoted the player's agent, Teodor Fonesca, as saying.
However, Hulk's English suitors may all be disappointed, after a Daily Mail report suggested a surprise bidder had entered the race - Russian club Zenit St Peterbsurg.
FC Porto have an £80m release clause in Hulk's contract and while earlier reports indicated the Portuguese champions would not budge from that figure, more recent ones indicated a bid in the region of £40m could win the day. The Mirror reports the Blues made a maximum offer of £30m, which was rejected. Meanwhile, Zenit will, it seems, include Portuguese centre back Bruno Alves as part of the Hulk deal; Alves transferred to Russia from FC Porto in 2010.
The clearest indication Hulk may not, after all, move to Stamford Bridge is a quote by Fonseca, in which he says one does not always get what one wants.
"Sometimes we want a player to continue, but the conditions do not allow it to happen. Who would not play in the Premier League, for Chelsea or one of the other big clubs? But sometimes clubs have to give up a right, a player or a person in order to keep the whole structure. People come and go and the clubs continue," Fonseca explained.
Moses Draws Closer
However, there may still be some good transfer news for Chelsea, with The Sun reporting the Blues are close to agreeing a deal with Wigan for the £9m transfer of Victor Moses. Wigan chairman Dave Whelan has been quoted as saying the Blues were easy to deal with and that although he would like to retain Moses' services, he would not stand in the way of the 21 year old Nigerian winger if Chelsea offered him a contract.